I'd like to point put that all of the known nuclear accidents combined,
including the current problems in Japan, have resulted in fewer deaths
than those caused by mining and burning coal for electrical power in a
single year. And the environmental degradation attributable to nuclear
power, no matter how you choose to measure it, is several orders of
magnitude less than that caused by coal mining.
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
firstname.lastname@example.orgNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote in
We shouldn't let the nuclear power industry get away with recertifying 50
year-old power plants with known deficiencies without updating and fixing
all the known deficiencies.
Neither should we let the coal industry get away with carelessness as
evident from the Massey accident(s) and nor let them dump their flyash
anywhere they want to.
License extensions are only granted after a thorough review.
It is simply not practical to re-engineer/rebuild an existing facility
entirely so your apparent request is to shut all operating plants.
Unfortunately, since it isn't also possible to build replacements of any
ilk in general, the US would be at a 20% shortfall if that were to
happen. Needless to say, that would have serious economic consequences,
"There is no free lunch"
I know there is no free lunch, and I'm not advocating scrapping the
plants that do conform to safety rules. It just appears to the layman
that if nature deals you a bad hand (Japan quakes & tsunami) or a set of
combinations of other extreme factors, some power plants get into extreme
From this layman's view there ought to be something done to at least
better ensure continued operation of cooling systems. I am really in
favor of nuclear energy, but it seems we're doing not enough to ensure
safety, and counting on luck only goes so far, as the Japanese found out.
Granted there was some real bad luck and operator errors
I think that the same should go for oil and coal. (Stupid drilling,
If they don't conform to the rules, they don't get licensed...you're
asking to change the rules after the kickoff, basically. That's fair
game for a new game; not so much for the one in play.
There's very little luck intended in the design. I don't know what the
design basis earthquake for Fukushima facility was (I've posted before
that since I don't read Japanese I can't go to the source of the actual
filed FSARs and I've not seen it reported in the press) but it appears
that there wasn't much actual earthquake damage that was totally
critical from the earthquake alone. If so, that says that part of the
design was probably adequate or nearly so. US reactors are also
designed to withstand a site-specific earthquake the magnitude and input
energy waveforms which are based on best estimates for the particular site.
It appears that the problems at Fukushima that really got them were
related to the following tsunami damage--it appears quite possible that
was underestimated in the design. I agree there probably should be more
stringent siting requirements with respect to nearness to known faults
and particularly those that would be susceptible to tsunamis such that
they aren't place in low-lying tidal areas in the future.
-- > I think that the same should go for oil and coal. (Stupid drilling, > flyash disposal).
If it is not possible to repair and upgrade a facility to make it
safe, then it needs to be shut down.
As stated elsewhere, the nuclear process allows absolutely ZERO
tolerance for error.
Nothing in the world is "safe" by your criterion. They meet applicable
requirements or they are; what is unreasonable is to think one can
change the entire design requirement and then retrofit an existing
facility to that.
Well, that's clearly not true, either...there's been quite a lot of
error as well as natural disaster it would seem and the overall effect
is, afaict, no serious injuries to date even, what more any direct
deaths. Quite a lot of property damage of course, but then in the big
picture of the rest of the property damaged....
One might as well say there should be absolutely zero tolerance for
error in passenger aircraft; your chances there aren't good in
comparison. They're built as best know how; that's where we are in
anything and everything we do.
That would be good since neither is true.
There are always bad eggs; Massey operations were in some instances
criminal--all the laws in the world don't do anything except after the
fact for those who chose to break them.
Flyash is very much under regulation as to where it goes--they don't
just "dump anywhere they want to". Again, there's nothing man does that
doesn't occasionally go wrong so to expect there to _never_ be a problem
is simply unrealistic irregardless of how much regulation or care is
taken. Sometimes the commonplace gets less attention than it might;
certainly TVA had no intention of the Kingston flyash pond dam letting go...
We don't let 50 year old plants be re certified with known deficiencies.
I believe it was about 10 or 12 years ago the Nuclear Plant at
Southport North Carolina, was shut down and had to be fitted with some
new modern equipment before it could be re certified.
For those complaining about spent fuel, I believe Carter made it against
the law to reprocess spent rods.
Not exactly against the law; it was an Executive Order that decreed the
NRC was not permitted to process a licensing application for a
reprocessing facility. IOW, it's an administrative decision as opposed
to law, a minor point in end result granted.
Carter was supposedly the "nuclear trained" president. Pshaw!
I think he took the Navy's 8-hour course. ;)
He can hack out a nice piece of wood, though.
The general effect was exactly like a microscopic view of a
small detachment of black beetles, in search of a dead rat.
-- John Ruskin
All the more reason to recognize the obvious.
Fossil fuel consumption must be reduced unless we knowingly want to do
irreparable harm to the planet.
The present energy industry has very deep pockets and will fight
development of alternate energy forms, but so be it.
It's time to get serious about our planet.
I _THINK_ he's kicking about the investment in and subsequent
abandonment of the Yucca Mountain site for "monitored retrievable
storage" (which, granted, was always a gross overkill from the git-go as
a concept but was intended to get around the objections of permanent
disposal at the cost of a terribly complex (hence expensive) dry storage
Instead, it became yet another political football on top of the
gold-plating and eventually sank under the weight of disinterest in
Congress to actually do something useful as opposed to punt the ball
down the road and Harry R's great personal vendetta used to keep himself
being re-elected. (Meanwhile, of course, NV was _very_ content to take
all the construction and engineering $$ spent locally for 20 years or
so...Harry's nothing if not self-opportune)
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